Water tankers association end strike after assurances from Fadnavis
Strap: Deputy CM to seek relaxation of new guidelines issued by the Central Ground Water Authority, says MWTA Mumbai: The strike by Mumbai Water Tanker Association came to end on Tuesday after the intervention and assurance by deputy chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that the state government will write to central government requesting relaxation in new rules of Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA)
Strap: Deputy CM to seek relaxation of new guidelines issued by the Central Ground Water Authority, says MWTA
Mumbai: The strike by Mumbai Water Tanker Association came to end on Tuesday after the intervention and assurance by deputy chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that the state government will write to central government requesting relaxation in new rules of Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
The MWTA, which runs about 2,000 tankers was on strike since February 8, which affected water supply to housing societies, shopping malls, hotels and infrastructure projects in the city. It was announced after the police issued circular warning of FIR against those not following the new rules of the Central Ground Water Authority.
The guardian minister of Mumbai suburban district Mangal Prabhat Lodha held a meeting with the MWTA in Mantralaya on Tuesday and listened to their demands. They then met Fadnavis, following which the association announced that they would withdraw their strike by Tuesday evening.
“The new rules made it mandatory that there should be 200 square metres space around well-water source. Besides, owners were asked to fill tankers inside the campus and not on roads or footpaths. It is impossible to follow these rules in Mumbai due to space constraints,” said Rajesh Thakur, secretary of the Tanker association in press conference.
“We discussed this with Fadnavis. He has assured us that state government will send a letter to central government asking them for relaxation of these rules in Mumbai. So now, we have decided to call of the strike,” said Thakur.
He added that Fadnavis has also assured to consider the demand to allow the movement of tankers for full day or at least extend the stipulated timing. “Currently tankers are allowed to supply water between 9 pm in the night to 7 am in the morning and traffic police fines ₹1,500 if they find tanker operating in the day time.” said Thakur.
Lodha said that government is ready to solve the problems of tanker owners and “after the successful intervention of Fadnavis, we hope water supply will resume soon”.
‘Authority not here to benefit businesses’
Mumbai: Even as the Mumbai Water Tanker Association ended its strike on Tuesday after assurances that the state will seek relaxation in the new guidelines, the chairman of Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) said that the guidelines cannot be changed for one state or a city.
In an exclusive telephonic interview with HT, Sunil Kumar, chairman of CGWB, said, “These rules are made following a National Green Tribunal order. The states can make their own guidelines on the basis of the CGWA guidelines. The guidelines are implemented nationwide and cannot be changed for one state or city.”
Elaborating on the rules of having a mandatory land ownership of 200 square meters per well, Kumar said, “A well has an interference of up to 200 square meters, so to ensure equity and that tankers don’t take others’ water from the ground, the guideline of having a radius of 200 square meters is implemented. It is for the benefit of all.”
According to the guidelines, all tankers have to be labelled as “Potable Water”, abstraction structures should be fitted with tamper proof digital water flow meter with telemetry and these meters have to be calibrated once a year from an authorised agency. Water can be used for drinking/domestic purpose only, water quality being supplied by the bulk water supplier should adhere to BIS norms for drinking and domestic purpose and the filling of tankers can be done within the premises only.
Kumar said that the potable water extracted from ground should not be used for construction activities. “The authority is not here to benefit businesses. The first right on water is for drinking, second for agriculture and third for industry.” he said.